Marianne Paquette has taken the helm of a new WildSafeBC Hitacu-Macoah program. (WildSafeBC photo)

Marianne Paquette has taken the helm of a new WildSafeBC Hitacu-Macoah program. (WildSafeBC photo)

Hitacu and Macoah welcome new WildSafeBC coordinator

Marianne Paquette will also cover Electoral Area C.

The West Coast has a new WildSafeBC coordinator.

The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District has partnered with the Ucluelet First Nation and Toquaht First Nation to establish a new position aimed at educating residents and visitors on managing their attractants and boost the area’s ability to co-exist harmoniously with wildlife.

Marianne Paquette began training for her new role in May and was delighted at the opportunity to combine her two passions: environmental science and communications.

“This position is the perfect combination of working through communications to really get engagement through the community and also working in environmental science in relation to wildlife and trying to keep wildlife wild and the community safe,” she said. “It’s touching on all of my interests and it’s a really nice opportunity for me.”

Paquette said she moved to Tofino from Montreal about four years ago in pursuit of West Coast waves and quickly became enamoured with her new home.

“I’m loving it,” she said. “Originally, I wanted to learn how to surf and I just fell in love with the West Coast. I fell in love with Tofino, the community, the area and the amazing wildlife we have around here.”

Her coordinator role will focus on the First Nations communities of Macoah and Hitacu, as well as Electoral Area C throughout the summer and fall, wrapping up for the season on Nov. 30.

“It’s been really great being able to meet with the communities. This is a new position so I’m trying to get a lot of information about where the hotspots are and what kind of attractants we have in different areas,” she said.

She added issues around attractant management are hyper-specific to each area and she’s been mapping out where problems have occurred in the past to work towards sustainable solutions.

She said she’s also been working with campgrounds to make sure campsites are bare.

“Everybody’s very receptive. People here like wildlife, everybody enjoys, for the most part, living closely with wildlife and are interested to learn more and that’s our role, to bring the learning to the community and get the resources out so people are aware of how to help their communities stay safe and that wildlife wild,” she said. “I’ve had amazing communications with people and it’s been a lot of insight for me to see what’s been happening.”

She added that while she’s new to the position, she’s benefitted from working alongside well-established WildSafeBC Pacific Rim coordinator Bob Hansen, whose coordination efforts encompass Tofino and Ucluelet.

“Bob’s amazing. He’s been a mentor to me,” she said. “It’s really, really interesting to listen to his experiences and he’s been extremely helpful…It’s been amazing and I’m so thankful I have Bob because a lot of communities don’t have someone like that to help me out. I’ve loved working with Bob.”

Any residents or visitors interested in learning more about co-existing with wildlife are encouraged to reach out to Paquette through the WildSafeBC Hitacu-Macoah Facebook page, or 514-622-7317.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: WildSafeBC patrolling for unsecured attractants around Tofino and Ucluelet

READ MORE: WildSafeBC program returns to Tofino and Ucluelet

READ MORE: Wolf fights dog in Tofino, prompting warning from WildSafeBC coordinator

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Janice and Martin Green are grateful for their town’s community paramedicine program. (Photo courtesy of Janice Green)
Community paramedicine program a lifesaver in Tofino-Ucluelet

“It makes us feel more comfortable here knowing that we do have emergency services that kick in.”

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read